Monday, June 10, 2013

Reading from Hard Copy

The book that was due June 1 is finally about ready to go in. (When I got the flu, my editor kindly granted me an extension!) I've read the beginning of the book at least four times. Every Monday morning I start at the beginning of my wip and read EVERYTHING I have, taking time to fix typos, pump up dialogue and descriptions and out-and-out change scenes that are wrong. So by the time I'm at the end of my book, the beginning has been through several revision processes.

So...Why did I print a hard copy of my book yesterday to read today?

Because I'm one of those old school people who believes books "read" differently on paper.

I have no idea if this is true or not, but I do realize that when I switch media I read differently. I see things on paper that I didn't see on the computer screen.

I also make a list of questions. i.e. Could you find a soccer game on TV in June in Italy?

I also make a time line. In one book I accidentally had two Wednesdays in the same week. Learned that lesson.

I also make a very brief (new) storyboard that shows me the important points of every chapter so I can go back and read the storyboard, following each character arc and making sure all story threads are tied up.

It's a long process. LOL!

But in the end I'm always glad I took the time to do all these things. You will never see two Wednesdays in the same week in any of my least not the recent ones! LOL Loose ends will be tied and all arcs will work.

Which makes it worth the extra hour or so I spend every day in the last week of writing each book!

Happy Monday


1 comment:

Laney4 said...

Hi, Susan!
I can totally relate. I own a typing business, and typing means editing too (at least for me) - not just for books, but for everything I type.
I print out hard copies because, indeed, I can find more things to adjust, can write in the margins with my questions/comments like you do, and I can place pages across my desk/dining room table and easily "move" paragraphs from one page to another without "losing where I am". I hope that makes sense to you.
One of my favourite words is consistency. If a writer prefers Canadian spellings, for example, then I ensure that all possible words are spelled in Canadian/British English, rather than American English (although I recommend the American spellings if an international audience is expected). Perhaps a measurement is in inches in one place and centimetres in another (so I recommend inches, as more universal/understood).
On a computer screen, it is more difficult to see "long paragraphs", but on a hard copy it is easily picked up. As well, I find my eyes gloss over paragraphs after awhile on the screen, but it is "fresher/crisper" on the hard copy.
I have recommended printing hard copies for over 30 years now to my clients. At first they balk, but, once they try it, they realize that it really does help to print the last draft (and sometimes second last draft as well, depending on the number of changes made).
Some people chide me for "wasting all that paper". My thought is, "Too bad! It works for me, and I'll continue doing it as long as I'm able." I use "scrap paper" twice by writing/printing on the other side of pages too, and I always shred each page. My kids know that should I pass away unexpectedly, they are to shred (or burn, depending on the quantity) my piles of scrap paper immediately. In the meantime, I try not to waste any of those printed pages.